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Eight years after Yankee Doodle Dandy, the gracefully aging James Cagney found some extra spring in his step for his role in The West Point Story, a snappy musical that finds Jimmy singin' and dancin' at the prestigious military academy. Elwin "Bix" Bixby (Cagney) is a big-city nightclub owner with a long history on Broadway, but he's down on his luck, and accepts an assignment to stage the annual cadets' musical at West Point, thinking he might be able to turn the show into a Broadway hit. To his hot-tempered chagrin he discovers a rag-tag cast of rank amateurs (among them Alan Hale Jr., long before he became "The Skipper" on Gilligan's Island), and it's his job to whip the cadets into shape in time for their big premiere. In an attempt to lure his talented lead performer (Gordon MacRae) to Broadway, Bix recruits a sweet-natured Hollywood star (Doris Day) and plots a backstage matchmaking scheme, but eventually he realizes the kid's true devotion to military service, and devotes himself to staging the best musical West Point has ever presented. This all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza seems a bit corny and dated now, but veteran director Roy Del Ruth keeps West Point Story on an even keel, letting Cagney strut his stuff like an old pro, with Virginia Mayo keeping pace as Cagney's on-and-off love interest. Catchy tunes by the legendary songwriting team of Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn make this a must-see for musical fans, and the score (by Ray Heindorf) was nominated for an Academy Award. Available separately or as part of the James Cagney Signature Collection, The West Side Story comes with a variety of Warner Bros.' "Night at the Movies 1950" short subjects, including a vintage newsreel of President Truman vowing to eradicate the Communist threat; the Oscar-winning "Sports Parade" short Granddad of Races (about Italy's most popular horse race); the classic cartoon "His Bitter Half" and a pair of 1950 movie trailers, for The West Point Story and the Doris Day/Gordon MacRae musical comedy Tea for Two.

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Special Features Warner Night at the Movies 1950: Vintage newsreel, Oscar-winning Sports Parade short "Granddad of Races," classic cartoon "His Bitter Half" Theatrical trailer

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WA113669 West Point Story DVD (1950/James Cagney) $19.98 $17.99